Honey-Bourbon Spatchcocked Turkey - Healthy Thanksgiving

Honey-Bourbon Spatchcocked Turkey

Brining turkey before roasting it is a foolproof way to ensure juicy, flavorful meat. After the bird gets a boost from a bourbon-honey brine, we spatchcock it, or remove the backbone. The turkey roasts flat in the oven, allowing it to cook evenly and develop a flawlessly crisp skin.
The brine is all you need for this fantastic bird. While the bourbon seems generous, it will impart a very subtle flavor in the meat once all the water is added. If you want a more intense smoke flavor, add a handful of soaked applewood chips to the grill. For a deeply bronzed, almost mahogany look, brush the skin with a mixture of water and honey each time you rotate the bird.
Active Time: 45 Mins
Total Time: 27 Hours 45 Mins
Yield: Serves 16 (serving size: about 5 oz.)

Ingredients (Organic)

  • 12 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 (14-lb.) whole fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
  • Cooking spray

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring 4 cups water, bourbon, salt, honey, and bay leaves to a boil in a medium saucepan; cook 2 minutes or until salt dissolves, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Place brine and remaining 8 cups water in a brining bag.

Step 2

Remove giblets and neck from turkey; discard or reserve for another use. Place turkey, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of backbone; discard backbone. Turn turkey breast side up; press firmly against breastbone with the heel of your hand so that the bird is splayed open, butterfly style (you'll hear a crack when the breastbone breaks). Trim excess fat; add turkey to brine. Refrigerate 18 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Step 3

Preheat one side of grill to medium (375°F).

Step 4

Remove turkey from brine; discard brine. Pat turkey dry.

Step 5

Coat grill grate with cooking spray. Place turkey, skin side up, on grate over unlit side of grill. Cover and grill 2 1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh registers 160°F, rotating the turkey 90 degrees every 30 minutes. Place turkey on a cutting board. Let stand, covered with foil, 30 minutes (internal temperature will rise to 165°F). Remove skin before serving.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 131
  • Fat 2.3g
    • Satfat 0.7g
    • Monofat 0.5g
    • Polyfat 0.7g
  • Protein 25g
  • Carbohydrate 1g
  • Fiber 0.0g
  • Cholesterol 83mg
  • Iron 2mg
  • Sodium 230mg
  • Calcium 17mg
  • Sugars 1g
  • Est. added sugars 1g